Title: Electric Forest
Author: Tanith Lee
Themes: espionage, science, blackmail, deformity, consciousness transfer, betrayal, beauty, wealth
Plot: The world called Indigo turned upside down for Magdala Cled one unexpected morning. From being that world's only genetic misfit, the shunned outcast of an otherwise ideal society, she became the focus of attention for mighty forces.
Once they had installed her in the midst of the Electric Forest, with its weird trees and its super-luxurious private home, Magdala awoke to the potentials which were opening up all about her. And to realize also the peril that now seemed poised above Indigo ... which only she, the hated one, could possibly circumvent.
My Thoughts: The ending is now somewhat of a cliched device, but Tanith Lee uses it well in Electric Forest. The book is short and easily propels itself along, keeping the reader in suspense and eager to continue-so in that respect, the ending was sort of a let down. The fate of ugly Magda amongst a society of genetically engineered beautiful people is interesting enough, but then her opportunity for beauty and riches elevates her story into a more exciting and dangerous place. The duplicitous people and unexpected twists make this an enjoyable adventure set on a futuristic planet.
Recommendation: Electric Forest was a short (150 pages) and exciting exercise in world-building and desperation (in it's characters, not the reader!). I would think this would be a fun and quick read for any sci-fi fan.
Similar Reads: The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee, Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee
Lee, Tanith. Electric Forest. : DAW, 1979.